The Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre
During World War II, Ramree Island off the coast of Burma was the site of a number of military battles, but the truly terrifying action only began after the military maneuvers ended.
On January 26, 1945, British troops made their way to Ramree Island so that they could establish a new airbase. However, first they had to drive off the Japanese invasion force which had already claimed the island. After a bloody but successful campaign against the Japanese, the British soldiers managed to drive nearly 1,000 enemy combatants into the dense mangrove swamp that covered some ten miles of Ramree. While this may have seemed a fine opportunity to slip into the wilderness and regroup, most of the Japanese soldiers would never be heard from again.
Unfortunately for the fleeing men, the mangrove jungle on Ramree Island is home to an unknown number of the largest reptilian predator in the world — the saltwater crocodile. These prehistoric holdovers can grow to over 20 feet in length and over 2,000 pounds in some cases, and although examples that size are rare, even a mid-sized crocodile of the species could easily kill a full grown adult human.
In addition, saltwater crocodiles are far from a misunderstood monster. The crocodiles have a long history of attacking humans who wander into their habitats, seeing them as little more than taller, more awkward prey. So when nearly 1,000 panicked soldiers came dripping blood and sweat into the cramped confines of the Ramree mangrove swamp, the giant lizards likely had the feast of their lives.
Continue reading the complete history of the Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre on Atlas Obscura…